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Bad Weather Is Reportedly Delaying the Israeli Ground Invasion of Gaza

Overcast skies might be allowing more time for evacuations.

Israeli tanks.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

All wars are weather stories, as much as that fact might be to the chagrin of modern militaries.

“It will be a matter of days before Israeli forces launch a ground invasion of Gaza,” Intelligencerreported a matter of days ago, after Israel notified the UN that the 1.1 million Palestinians living to the north of Wadi Gaza had 24 hours to get out. But 24 hours have come and gone, a delay that has allowed more time for frantic evacuations from the area — but also, it appears, might be due simply to the region’s overcast skies.

According to “three senior Israeli military officers” who spoke to The New York Times:

The [ground invasion of Gaza] was initially planned for the weekend, but was delayed by a few days at least in part because of weather conditions that would have made it harder for Israeli pilots and drone operators to provide ground forces with air cover, the officers said.

There have been passing rain showers in the region, with the Jordan-based weather service Arabia Weather reporting that Monday was “expected to remain partly cloudy to cloudy, with rainfall continuing at intervals in the Gaza Strip, sometimes heavy, and may cause local torrential rains in some areas.”

That means “the timing of an Israeli ground invasion into Gaza remains unclear,” The Wall Street Journalwrites, and “expected rain over the area early this week could [continue to] delay the beginning of the operation.”

Arabia Weather shows a chance of showers and overnight fog continuing through Thursday. The forecast clears up on Friday, with a sunny weekend ahead.

Jeva Lange profile image

Jeva Lange

Jeva is a founding staff writer at Heatmap. Her writing has also appeared in The Week, where she formerly served as executive editor and culture critic, as well as in The New York Daily News, Vice, and Gothamist, among others. Jeva lives in New York City.


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